Miss Lynda, Lead Instructor for the RimView Dance Studio
To All Students:
The main role of dance etiquette is to make interactions in the studio enjoyable for everyone. When dancers practice in closed quarters, it’s a wonder there hasn’t been need for an ambulance at times. Also, throw in bruised feelings from fellow students being rude to each other; interruptions due to late arrivals to class, rehearsals and recitals; and someone having a bad day, and there is the potential for mutiny. Before going into the specific rules that need to follow, an explaination as to why etiquette is so important is necessary.
In dancing, much like everyday life, etiquette creates behavior that will not offend. The underlying foundation is the consideration for the safety and for the convenience of the other dancers. Therefore, if in doubt about a specific point of etiquette presented below, often it is enough to invoke the following general rule to avoid a “Faux Pas” (false step or poor behavior): “Be kind, generous, and unselfish!” One cannot go wrong with that formula. Everyone is expected to abide by this rule in order to be members of the RimView Dance Studio.
a) Timeliness is next to Godliness. Be at least 15 minutes early for classes, rehearsals, and performances. Don’t let your dancer/teammates wait for you. This unsafe and rude practice upsets the class and greatly inconveniences the teachers. Please parents, be there promptly when classes are over in order to take your dancer home.
b) Dance in your space, not someone else’s. As the floor becomes more crowded, make your steps smaller and kicks shorter. This applies to every dancer no matter how experienced. If you bump into someone else on the dance floor, assume it is your fault and apologize immediately. Be sensitive to the amount of space around you.
c) Wear appropriate clothes and shoes. Your outfit and accessories should be comfortable, safe, and also reflect the culture and the level of formality of the dance. The choice of outfit depends on the venue. One needs to consider established protocols as well as comfort and safety during dancing. Regardless of how informal the dance is, wear proper dance shoes. Do not wear sneakers or other shoes with rubber or spongy soles as they can stick to the floor during movements and cause injuries. Extremely high heel or heavy shoes are also injuries waiting to happen. Do not wear jewelry or fingernail polish. For further recommendations, check with instructors in regard to the proper wardrobe.
d) Check your grooming periodically. Dancing is an activity where people come in close contact. Unfortunately, one can remain unaware of one’s bad breath or body odor. During active dance sessions, freshen up and towel off periodically. Before and after practice (or performances), bathe yourself and wash your gear (or costumes) diligently. Ensure your breath doesn’t smell bad. Refrain from strong smelling herbs, such as tobacco, garlic or onion. So, in conclusion, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.”
e) Unless you are one of the assistant instructors, don’t teach, offer suggestions or critique another student’s dancing.
f) Don’t leave the dance floor unless you ask permission because this disrupts the dance. Ask permission by respectfully getting the attention of the instructor; state your reason with the appropriate courtesy; leave the dance floor quickly without disrupting the class; and quickly return to your position after completing your business.
g) Always smile and be pleasant. Don’t be a snob. Never forget that you were once a beginner, and that others helped you become a good dancer by tolerating your mistakes. Experienced dancers are encouraged to help make less experienced dancers feel welcome. Today’s beginners will be the good dancers of tomorrow. Project a warm and positive image (smile) on the dance floor even if that is not your personal style. Many of us lead hectic lives that include a difficult balance between study, work, family, and other obligations. Having a difficult and tiring day, however, is not an acceptable excuse for unpleasant demeanor.
h) Make it a practice to thank the instructors for teaching and everyone who made your practice and performance a pleasant one.
i) Respect other dancers, instructors and treat everyone with courtesy. Please don’t talk during teaching, practices and performances. Comments to teachers are welcome after the session. If you already know the dance being taught, please support the teacher by re-learning it since “practice makes perfect.” Be quiet and attentive because someone else needs the instruction. A dancer must be modest about their ability. You must not let perceived dancing prowess go to your head.
j) Disruptive students and/or their parents will be asked to leave the studio promptly since improper behavior disrupts the dance.
k) While students are “spotting” in gymnastics and tumbling/acrobatics, please control your movements so as not to hurt someone else during execution.
l) Students may wear contacts and/or properly secured eyeglasses (for example, eyeglass bands) in class. However, for the safety of not only the eyeglass wearer but also the other dancers, dance participants may not wear eyeglasses onstage. Instructors and owners are not responsible for any damage done to contact lenses or eyeglasses.
m) Remember: when in doubt, SAFETY FIRST!
If you have any questions about dance etiquette at the RimView Dance Studio, please ask. Thanking you in advance for your support of the studio.